Venafi, the inventor of and market leader in Enterprise Key and Certificate Management (EKCM) solutions, in conjunction with Echelon One, an IT security research leader specializing in security programs and guidance, today released the 2011 IT Security Best Practices Assessment. Echelon One led the effort to establish a set of 12 best practices and worked closely with Venafi to evaluate how well 420 enterprises and government agencies implemented them. The assessment revealed an epidemic of security worst practices, with a majority of organizations failing to adhere to simple data protection standards. In many cases, it also revealed that many organizations are critically unaware of what security practices are currently in place.
“The assessment findings were startling. We suspected we would find that many organizations were challenged, but we had no idea that failure rates would run this high,” said Bob West, founder and CEO of Echelon One. “The good news is that with this information and free self assessment, organizations can see where they rank in comparison to peers, and determine where weaknesses exist. They can identify steps to significantly reduce security and compliance risks by leveraging automated processes with multi-layered data security strategies, including managed encryption.”
The assessment evaluated where organizations rank in the implementation of 12 IT security and compliance best practices, ranging from how organizations leverage and manage encryption to how often they conduct security awareness and training programs. The top five best practices, their high failure rates, and recommendations for mitigation include:
The assessment further revealed that almost 100 percent of evaluated organizations had some degree of security, compliance or operational risk.
“The biggest security struggle organizations face today is managing the unknown—a.k.a. the unquantified and unmanaged risks. Your best security assets can easily turn into liabilities if not managed properly,” said Jeff Hudson, CEO of Venafi. “If this assessment demonstrates anything, it’s that IT and security departments have got to gain greater visibility over all of their security and compliance activities, and take steps to better understand and manage them.”
The Venafi 2011 IT Security Best Practices Assessment evaluated 420 participant organizations through an independent online survey conducted in July. Sixty percent of the evaluated organizations employ large workforces of 5,000 or more employees. Respondent organizations came from multiple industries, including banking and financial services (27%), high tech (14%), government (11%), and manufacturing (8%).
Questions and best practices baselines were established in conjunction with IT security research firm Echelon One, under the leadership of founder and CEO Bob West. To develop the evaluation and baselines, West drew on his constant interactions with his Fortune 500 customers and his 20–plus years of IT security experience in former positions such as CISO of Fifth Third Bank.
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